WOONSOCKET, R.I., Feb. 7, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- CVS Caremark (NYSE: CVS) has extended its innovative Pharmacy Advisor™ program to cover an additional five chronic conditions, including asthma, breast cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, depression, and osteoporosis. The condition-based program alerts pharmacists when patients are not adherent to their medication regimens or have a gap in care, allowing them to intervene with patients and communicate with their physicians in real time. Before this program extension, the Pharmacy Advisor program had focused on patients with diabetes or cardiovascular conditions, with more than 3.8 million interventions conducted to date.
It is estimated that medication nonadherence costs the U.S. economy nearly $300 billion annually. Studies suggest that poor medication adherence is linked to chronic conditions, and that medication persistence – the length of time a patient continues to take a prescribed drug – tends to be low for those with chronic conditions. Research also suggests that the design of medically appropriate regimens for individual patients can play a role in improving costs and outcomes associated with adherence,1 and that intervention by pharmacists can reduce gaps in care.2
"We are delighted to extend Pharmacy Advisor and its benefits to patients managing medications associated with additional chronic conditions," said Troyen A. Brennan, MD, MPH, Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer of CVS Caremark. "Pharmacists play an important role in the coordination of care for individuals living with chronic conditions and understand how critical medication adherence is in supporting their patients."
In addition to improving medication adherence, Pharmacy Advisor directs members with chronic conditions to existing disease management programs where they can obtain additional support.
"Pharmacy Advisor not only improves quality of care for individuals with chronic conditions by providing an additional layer of support, it also addresses the important systemic challenges of health care costs related to medication nonadherence," said Jon Roberts, President of CVS Caremark's Pharmacy Benefits Management business. "Extending the program to cover a broader range of chronic conditions expands our ability to support even more patients on their path to better health, while reducing the burden of cost associated with medication non-adherence for patients with these conditions."
About CVS Caremark
CVS Caremark is dedicated to helping people on their path to better health as the largest integrated pharmacy company in the United States. Through the company's more than 7,400 CVS/pharmacy stores; its leading pharmacy benefit manager serving more than 60 million plan members; and its retail health clinic system, the largest in the nation with more than 600 MinuteClinic locations, it is a market leader in mail order, retail and specialty pharmacy, retail clinics, and Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plans. As a pharmacy innovation company with an unmatched breadth of capabilities, CVS Caremark continually strives to improve health and lower costs by developing new approaches such as its unique Pharmacy Advisor program that helps people with chronic diseases such as diabetes obtain and stay on their medications. Find more information about how CVS Caremark is reinventing pharmacy for better health at info.cvscaremark.com.
Christine K. Cramer
1 New England Healthcare Institute (2009). Thinking Outside the Pillbox: A System-wide Approach to Improving Patient Medication Adherence for Chronic Disease. NEHI Research Brief, August 2009.
2 Brennan et al. (2012). An Integrated Pharmacy-Based Program Improved Medication Prescription and Adherence Rates in Diabetes Patients. Health Affairs. 31(1).
SOURCE CVS Caremark